Senators Lose to League’s Best

SensChirp October 28, 2013 120
Senators Lose to League’s Best

 

After what looked like a turning point win in Detroit last week, the Ottawa Senators returned home and dropped consecutive games to the Anaheim Ducks and last night to the San Jose Sharks.

And while Anaheim and San Jose are two of the best team in the Western Conference and probably the entire NHL, the Sens won’t be happy coming away with zero points over that two game stretch.

Last night against San Jose, the Senators seemed like the better team for large stretches of the game but every time they made a mistake, some of which were pretty big mistakes, the puck would end up in the back of their net.  That’s the mark of a good team, I suppose- making you pay for your mistakes.

The Sharks certainly did that on Sunday night.

With the loss, Ottawa now sits at 4-5-2 on the season which is actually just two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  They have sputtered to start the season but they are by no means out of it.  Plenty of games left to be played and lots of time to get this thing back on track.

It’s hard to know exactly what the biggest issue is for the Senators right now but along with suspect defence, I’d say they are more than anything, victims of an absolutely grueling schedule to start the season.  If you eliminate the season opening game in Buffalo, the team’s the Senators have played to start the season have a combined 71-37-12 record.

There are no easy games in the NHL but there sure as hell have been some hard ones to start this season.

Ottawa now closes out the month with another tough one against the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks.  If they can find a way to win that one and get to .500 to end the month, that would be a pretty good result considering the schedule they’ve faced.

Following that game the Senators return home to play 7 of 8 at the Canadian Tire Centre in an extremely important stretch of games for this hockey team.

If they continue to struggle during that stretch of games, then you have my permission to begin panicking.

  • Peluso

    I saw some much negative horse shit coming from twitter this weekend about how much this player sucks, how our coach isn’t doing a good job, how our owner doesn’t deserve anything etc.

    Here’s the thing – Neil, who took the brunt of the criticism, leaves nothing on the ice, and battles harder with more heart and soul than 95% of the NHL. That’s why he got the ‘A’ on his sweater. He’s a leader in the dressing room for YOUR FAVOURITE TEAM.
    Coach MacLean, who his peers felt was the best coach in the best league in the world last season, should be left off of any criticism at all. I don’t know what else to say about this.
    Melnyk loses $milions every year. You may not like him, but he gives more to this team than ANYONE on this site – period. You can’t sit there on your couch, giving nothing at all to the in-game atmosphere, and nothing to the SSE revenue stream, and complain about the owner “not spending to the cap” or that “he doesn’t have money”. Those empty seats should be filled by your sorry ass before you complain.

    Compare our team to others in Canada, or even the States! Sens fans, stop fucking complaining about E-VERY-THING. Own up to it, and believe in your team, and support them in a REAL WAY.

    I’m sick of Bloggers, posters, and every emo-fan in Ottawa picking apart our team. The players need our support, and so does the team. Buck up and do the right thing.

    Go fucking Sens.

    • Miguel

      Excellent post Peluso, could not agree more with all you have said, and especially all those bellyachers sitting at home on their computers, bitching about this and that, but in the end not supporting the team. However as fans when expectations are not met, we do have the right to question some of the players and their play or non play

    • TookieIs100PercentRight

      Coddling them won’t do anything but entrench bad habits.
      These are grown men and professional athletes. They need to be able to take good criticism (from the coach) and the fans are quite entitled to say their piece as they pay to see them play.
      And the empty seats? Team wins they will be full of happy Sens fans. Team keeps dropping winnable games? Less bums in the seats. Ultimately this falls on Melnyk. By not using his cap space he is putting this team on the bubble of a playoff spot. His losing millions is no concern of mine. If he can’t afford a seat at the dance, let him sell the team or get a limited partner. Otherwise this team is not going anywhere in bottom five in spending.
      TOOKS100% OUT!!!!

      • Peluso

        amazing that you and those people who didn’t attend because they knew the Sens would lose have the ability to see into the future. Oh tell us, great wizard of the future – how did you and your disciples know that the Sens were going to lose, and that is why you didn’t attend these games?

        “His losing millions” is precisely the reason why he can’t spend to the cap, you fucking twit. Jesus H Christ, would someone get this guy a fucking first year economic textbook?!?

        And who is talking about “coddling” the players? I am not talking about not hurting individual players and their feelings here. I’m talking about an overwhelming amount of people complaining about every single aspect of this team, the location of the building, the logo, the in-game entertainment, the parking, the beer prices, the ‘this’ and the ‘that’. It’s just a bunch of whining fucking babies that never go to the goddamn games anyway.

        Montreal calls their team “nos amours”.
        Toronto has a giant wank-fest all the time for their team.
        Vancouver riots when they lose.
        Edmonton and Calgary are sold out to the tits every single game.
        Winnipeg is the loudest arena in the league.
        Quebec has such a big boner at the IDEA of having a team back, they are poking Chicoutimi in their necks…

        …meanwhile, while so many of these “fans” (most of whom never go to games – some ‘bloggers’ have never even BEEN!), just complain, complain and dump and dump… and I say FUCK OFF! You’re not real fans anyway, so QUIT SHITTING ON MY TEAM!

        “TOOKS100% OUT” -’to lunch’.

        • GoSensGoEh

          You’re an idiot. There’s a rock with your name on it, crawl back under it. You don’t like how people react, then avoid people, see previous rock comment. This is not your public toilet to let loose your anger issues. If Senschirp lets this forum be your public toilet, then I wish the two of you the best.

          • Peluso

            33 thumbs up, one thumb down on my first post, and 3 thumbs up and none down on my follow up.

            Where ever this rock is that you’re talking about, there had better be room for all of the people who agree with me.

            In your comment, you suggest to “see previous rock comment”. See, that was a reiteration of the same comment. So you’re wrong there too.

            Afterwards, you say that “this is not (my) public toilet”. In the very next sentence, you say “if Senschirp lets this forum be your public toilet…”. So which is it pal? Is it, or isn’t it my public toilet? I think you’ve got to make your mind up on this one.

            You write “…don’t like how people react, then avoid people”. well, well, well genius, sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black. In this case, you’re the pot see? And I’m the kettle. You’re already black, but you’re calling ME black. See how that worked?

            Thanks for wishing me the best by the way – you’re swell! Here’s a history/linguistic lesson for you: The word ‘IDIOT’ comes from the Greek, as ‘he who would close his door, and not go to the marketplace’. It was a private citizen who didn’t involve himself in the democratic process. So, your entire indictment is erroneous.

            Have a great fucking night.

            Go Sens.

          • SensChirp

            From what I have seen in the past, readers rather enjoy the rants of Peluso and the rating on the original comment suggest that is still the case.
            While I wouldn’t go to the lengths our friend Peluso does, I too wish there was a more unconditional support for this team. Having operated this blog for the last four years, it’s frustrating to watch people show up to critique the team and then disappear when things are going well.

  • The Apostle

    The problems are primarily the same problems as last year. Not being able to consistently and effectively move the puck out of our defensive zone, turnovers and giving up a lot of shots.

    The biggest difference is that this year it appears we have normal goalies rather than the super-human trio we had last season.

  • boom

    I don’t know if anyone touched on this in the previous post – but I wasn’t real impressed with Karlsson’s interview between periods. He was obviously pissed off, and rightfully so, but I would have loved to see him take some responsibility rather than making it sound like a mystery as to why things are not going the Sens way.

    “I don’t know what’s wrong, but we gotta fix it” (not an exact quote, but close enough)

    He doesn’t know what’s wrong? How about playing with some intensity?

    That lack of back-checking (lack-checking?) by Karlsson on that Wingels goal was embarrassing. If he would have owned up to that, and said something like “We need to be better, and I can’t be making plays like that”, I would have gained some respect for him, but instead he just sounded like a whiner.

    All i know (it’s not a long list) is that if that were Spezza on the lack-check, he’d be getting all kinds of grief. If Karlsson showed half the intensity that Spezza did behind the net on Methot’s goal, he would have gotten to that loose puck way before Wingels.

    End of rant.

    • A-O

      completely agree. Karlsson gave up on the play and it cost us. Play to the whistle boy!

      • SensChirp

        I thought that Karlsson looked as good as he has all season in that first period. Would have liked to see him come back on that play but I find it really hard to place blame on the best player on the ice.

        • boom

          sorry Chirp, but i think it’s ok to blame your “best” player if it’s purely based on lack of effort. I’m sure the rest of the team would have noticed if maclean hadn’t tore a strip off of him, after that play.

        • A-O

          Don’t get me wrong, he was great for most of the game, but he still gave up for a second which may have resulted in the goal against.

        • TookieIs100PercentRight

          Karlsson COASTED to his netminder. It’s great he gets points but he MUST defend his zone as well as he produces offence, or this team will be behind by 2-3 goals every game.
          TOOKS100% OUT!!!!!!!

  • The Apostle

    In other news given what NYI gave up to get Vanek we can probably stop discussing how Murray overpaid for Ryan – he clearly didn’t, he paid the market rate.

    • Alcatraz

      Compasred to Vanek, Murray udnerpaid lol. Vanek is a UFA and will probably resign around 6 mill? Ryan gave up arguably less for a player with term. Brilliant

      • bishbosh

        I thought I heard somewhere that Vanek had said he wanted to sign in Minnesota for next year. If the Islanders don’t win the cup (which they won’t) and Vanek doesn’t sign an extension with them (he might not) they will have massively overpaid.

        • Alcatraz

          The Minny thing is media making connections and assumptions. I believe he lived there or went to college there, and his wife is from there
          Same reason everyone thought Ryan was going to Philly lol

  • A-O

    Not that it’s an excuse, but the Sens have had a tough schedule this month. The west has been extra dominant over the east this season, and the sens have played 8 games of 11 against the big bad west, and a good portion on the road. That and a tough road trip to put us in a whole to start the season. Hell, our team went through a lot of changes over the summer with a few “key players” moving on, as well as a bunch of guys who didn’t play much last year (injuries).
    The team can play better, but the schedule has exaggerated our faults. I’m confident that once we get back to “familiar” hockey, in the east, against some teams we recognize, our team will start to gel more, and rack up some wins. I like to think that our schedule has gotten a good chunk of the hard games out of the way.
    Soon we’ll be out of excuses. Let’s see how we do in November before we start to panic.

    Go Sens!

  • Hax

    Karlsson was at his most amazing last night. He was also at his worst at times. I have no issue with the interview as he’s not going to try to coach the team himself and I think it was just half “interview answer” and have actually how he felt.

    There were times where he looked like a Globetrotter out there with the puck, dancing around guys and doing whatever he felt like. Then times where he must have thought so himself and forgot he wasn’t playing the Washington Generals.

    This team seems to be about 5% away from being very crisp and very dangerous (in SJ’s league) but it hasn’t clicked yet. Hopefully they find that groove soon and figure out how to STAY in it.

    As for the Neil haters, Chirp himself put it best recently when he tweeted: “People on twitter generally don’t like Chris Neil. People at CTC generally do.”

    I’ll admit he takes some ill-timed penalties (though the one against the Ducks was more of a fluke where he shoved and the Duck player accidentally redirected Chris’ shove up to his own face). But I’ll take him on my team any day of the week.

    • A-O

      well said. The Sens are close to being an awesome team, and a few nights in Ottawa might help them get there sooner.

  • s3nsf4n65

    The score doesn’t reflect the actual game as I thought the Sens were overall the better team. Sharks took advantage of some lucky bounces and some poor turnovers and managed to get the win. The turris line was once again great, and karlssons goal came as a result of ridiculous offensive zone pressure. Smiths line was also very good and I think zibanejad playing with them had a lot to do with that. Methots goal was a strong effort from spezza to stay on the puck when he could’ve easily gave it away knowing a penalty was on the way. I’m not worried about the sens, once they clean up the turnovers they will be VERY tough to beat.

  • Andre

    Baffling that people are talking about Neil’s ineffectiveness when he, Smith & Zibanejad were the best trio for the Senators last night. I’m as big a fan of talent as anybody else on this blog, but please tell me you’re not so ignorant as to think a winning team can only be comprised of pure talent. Neil’s grit & leadership is absolutely essential on this hockey club. Really bad timing for the Neil haters to come out of the wood work. He had a very good game.

    • Miguel

      Neil Haters is a little much, I have not seen many Neil haters, as we have many on here who love what he brings, myself included. My point is we do not need 4 of this type on our bottom 4. Essentially Neil and Smith do the same thing, hit, can fight, but can also play the game without a stick!
      There is not enough scoring coming from our bottom 6, actually forget the scoring, we barely even get any decent chances from those bottom 2 lines.
      Then we throw Greening on the top line, and we have Spezza, our #1 Centre and arguably one of the best point getters playing with cement hands Greening, and MM9 who was last spotted playing well in 2011.
      Sorry but this is not working, and add to that, that we have no threat whatsoevr from our bottom six, along with an ineffective PP, and that makes a very easy team to play against right now.
      Send a message, and that is not with toying wiht our rookies.
      It is about time a vet got a seat in the pressbox… IMHO

      • Millennium

        Neil is a great player, and is one of the few players that the coach should not try sitting. He is consistently going to the net for garbage, playing hard, hitting hard, and frankly, he has a few decent moves in him if he plays with the right linemates. We have plenty of weaknesses in our bottom 6, but Neil isn’t one of them.

        • hq8

          nope, for you Neil is exactly the kind of player who should be on the sens top PP unit (which he is) and is also out in situations when the sens pull the goalie (which does happen).
          no, sir. Neil takes bad penalties: just in the Anaheim game he got suckered into it by a rookie like Maroon. he does it very frequently too. so much for leadership there. as for offense, i think you can look at the stats and figure it out yourself.
          Neil and Phillips, it will be a day of reckoning when they leave the sens roster because quite frankly, the best before date has come and gone past long before.

          • Go Sens Go

            I don’t think that is a fair statement. Phillips I agree but Neil plays with a lot of heart. His job is to hit, forecheck hard, go to the net hard and to annoy the opposition. His job is not to score goals. Goals scored by him is just pure bonus. Yes he has taken bad penalties but so have the rest of the sens. I would not like to get rid of Neil ever (well ever being relative ;-)).

          • Millennium

            The number of dumb penalties Neil takes is well within the acceptable limit for somebody who fills his role. In fact, historically Neil is rather decent at staying out of the box when his team is better served with him available. Even in our penalty-fest start to this season, Neil is not nearly the worst culprit.

            Maybe you should watch more games, because you clearly don’t have a clear picture of the on-ice product.

  • Miguel

    Granted we have had a tough sched to start the season. But how on gods earth can a team that played a game 17hours earlier, come into our home, after we were embarrassed in their home a couple of weeks back, and set us back on our heels?
    SJ came out flying and we were the ones with the sea legs? Sorry but this was the second game in a row, where we should have had the exrta motivation, the extra jump, and the opposition takes it to us.
    The big question for me is why? and How?
    Is it not being prepared? highly doubt that with PM
    Is it lack of focus by the players? maybe
    is it carelessness? not sure
    One thing that I think it could be is complacency. How is it that some players regardless of how shit they play are given all the rope to make mistakes, and will NEVER sit?
    While others, make one single mistake, and their time is cut, and worse are sitting next game.
    Players who have never sat
    Greening, MM9, Smith, Neil (not questioning his heart, just his play), Phillips, Cowen.
    All in my opinion, have played badly and caused us some games, yet they are never concerned of sitting.
    Wheras DaCosta, Pageau, Zibby, Wiecioch, Gyrba, make mistakes, and they are sat or worse sent down.
    Some of the big names who are being paid as top players are the ones causing us some games, and it is time to send them a message as well IMO

    • Ausiesen

      Greening sat last year if i remember correctly.

      • Miguel

        a hell of al lot better players have sat since then and have been sent off since then… it is his turn to sit… IMO

  • TheTruth

    You need a solid defense to win in this league. Last year our best defenders were our 3 goaltenders. This year, if they don’t play spectacular every night, we are going to lose. I love the fact we have some tall, lanky, hard hitting Dmen, however, if they are not mobile you are prone to giveways, penalties and sufficient zone time in your own end. Karlsson is high risk and high reward from the moment he joined this team, I can live with that and I can live with Spezza’s turnovers too. My real concern is that when you have your so called shut down dmen (Phillips, Cowen, Gryba) struggle you have a hard time keeping the puck out of your net.

    • Go Sens Go

      May be time to give Andy a break.

  • Millennium

    They just need to be better. There’s really nothing else to say. No excuses, no finger-pointing,

  • TookieIs100PercentRight

    While the Senators are technically only two points out of a Wild Card spot, they are mired with Washington and Columbus two points out of the last Wild Card token and 4-6 points out of the first Wild Card berth. Simply put, this team needs to get their shit together in a hurry because they’ve beaten two bad teams in Buffalo and New Jersey, one decent team in Detroit and an average team in Phoenix.
    And schedule? Ok. Look at San Jose’s. They played in Montreal Saturday, here yesterday, then they have another week or so on the road. The Rangers started theri season with almost a month on the road. We can’t have these excuses so early on. The Senators were the rested team against Ducks and Sharks and blew four points. If they lose tomorrow it will be six points gone. Something has to give.
    And Jason York’s comments “They haven’t lost to any Eastern teams outside TO” well you are STILL giving up points you’ll need later. ISlanders won’t be a gimme at all. Get ‘er done Paulrus!
    TOOKS100% OUT!!!

  • FBP

    Any odds on the first ‘mix-it-up’ trade?

    • Conor_smythe

      Chris phillips will be traded in january

      • Mexican Baby Jesus

        You talking about his double chin?

      • The Apostle

        I’m not sure the organisation has the stomach for another sour veteran departure. Not saying I agree with keeping Phillips though, I wouldn’t have given him the 3rd year in the 1st place.

  • hq8

    hey SC, i think your schedule excuse or theory is very hollow. one team that really debunks it: COL. they started their season in Anaheim and have played the penguins now too. they went on an eastern road swing also. given that they finished in the toilet seat last season, and a new coach, plus a defense headed by none other than our very own Andre Benoit, oh and also playing most games in the western conf. plus a goalie most thought was past his prime in giguere.
    the sens on the other hand have two progressively successful seasons on their backs, a healthy roster, two good goaltenders, they got that top six winger they wanted. they are loaded with prospects. Maclean won the Jack Adams last year. yea, schedule should be the last excuse for these guys. especially if they want to purport themselves as the hard working team of the last two years. infact, if they dont fix it soon and if schedule really is an issue, then its a shame because it then means the last two seasons were flukey.
    onto whats really messed up:
    two teams, both on long road trips, on back-to-back games, both with starting goalies, one sporting a two game losing streak, the sens in their home barn. what do the sens do? they come out flat. quite frankly, this team is fumbling every advantage it is being given.
    This record is the culmination of small boneheaded decisions adding up for a snowball effect. decisions like playing pageau and SDC at center while dumping Zib in Bingo. what did that result in? the sens playing a two or even one line game severely handicapped by JGP’s faceoff struggles and SDC’s productivity and incompatibiltiy in bottom 6.. decisions like playing Chris Phillips and Chris Neil on powerplays….insisting on putting out Chris Neil with the goalie pulled.
    This team has not been ready to play the first 10 games of this season, and i now suspect the detroit game had more to do with the wings not being interested than the sens own performance.
    i think all us fans should brace ourselves for a rude awakening this season and just lower expectations. the sens dont seem to be wanting to live up to and improve on their record of the past two seasons. by all indicators first 11 games in, this team looks to have regressed in every department. its taking more and more bad penalties on a consistent basis. it is making defensive errors that were super rare the past two seasons. the bottom 6 of this team that used to be a strength is now a liability. Andy seems to definitely have regressed in a big way. and yea the powerplay still sucks even though we have uhhh Erik Karlsson, Spezza, Ryan and Turris.
    i get a very bad feeling about the Hawks game tomorrow……

    • LeafsSux

      Like I said this could be a longgggggggg year… Well put..

    • SensChirp

      So other than this, how is your Monday going?

      • hq8

        lol actually…..not bad. but i work in the Tdot and i dont like seeing smug leaf fans faces knowing that my fav team dropped two very winnable games in miserable fashion. so in the end its close to……meh

    • SensChirp

      Disagree with your dismissal of the schedule factor, by the way. Think they are just matching up against a bunch of teams that are better than they are right now.

      Agree that the way some players are being used is somewhat questionable but I figure MacLean has a reason for it. That said, I really like to hear an explanation because his approach has always been “best players play.” Hasn’t always been the case early this season.

      The numbers Ottawa goalies put up last year were out of this world and fairly unsustainable. Some regression there was inevitable.

      • hq8

        i’d say the sharks are better as they are much deeper given marleau, thornton, couture and pavelski, add to that Burns, a surprising Hertl and a still missing Havlat.
        are the ducks really better than the sens? i dont think so, atleast on paper the ducks are not – to me. given the fact the sens were able to lose by only one goal in SJS and in OT in LA, i think the sens do have the potential to be closer to these teams if they play to their strengths. which they have established over the last two season ofcourse.
        however, what the sens are doing right now is playing completely away from their strengths. some have said that the last two seasons were anchored by spectacular goaltending shielding inherent defensive gaps. i hope thats not true, but it looks like it may be.
        as for Maclean and his impact/involvment/responsibility in the record to-date. to me, there is no way you blame him for this, its impossible unless he decided this summer to really put his career on the line. however, it is puzzling to see him fiddle with the best players play thing. maybe he uses it to send a message to the ‘on-paper best players’. obviously the zibanejad decision will be a controversial and contradictory one in light of that.
        one thing i do fear is that the sens are flirting with something very dangerous if this continues: the coach losing his job. because they are on a trajectory which if not corrected will require a shakeup to fix and given Melnyk’s financial issues, i dont know how a player decision will fit the bill. and i think if the sens somehow manage to get maclean canned from ottawa, it would be the greatest loss for this franchise ever. it will beat any number of first round picks being doled out in a bad trade or all of spezza, ryan, turris and karlsson bolting town too. maclean is the main reason we have enjoyed the last two seasons and that we still have hope.

  • LeafsSux

    Not sure why everyone on here is upset. We lost to the best team in hockey period! We have played a tough schedule to start the season but our Sens just cant find themselves right now. Shit you never know what line is out there with coach M changing it up as much as he does. I know its early but Anderson showed signs of how vulnerable he is on giving up goals in the past and im not speculating that we got rid of the better goalie but you have to think about it.. We have NO defense and NO offense gelling right now and if they dont find it fast its gonna be a long year. Heart alone will not win games.. Just saying.. Lehner needs to be in net much more just to send a message to the team. JMHO..

  • John

    I don’t think you can put much stock in Ottawa “having the puck” or “controlling the play” vs. San Jose or Anaheim. Those teams were both playing the latter half of back-to-backs and also both playing their 3rd game in 4 days on a long road trip out of their own time zone. That’s basically the sweet spot if your the opposing team. Ottawa wasted two excellent opportunities schedule-wise to get some points vs. top teams. I doubt we’d be controlling the play vs. the rested team. Sharks walked all over us and put up 50 shots with a lesser advantage in terms of rest when we went out West. Sens will be a playoff team but there is much work to be done.

  • NickofTime

    Karlsson was not the best player on the ice & certainly didn’t deserve a star, a few of the guys wearing the blue sweaters played much better. It’s nice when Karlsson can contribute to the offence although, I just wish it would have been for our team. While I rag on Spezza constantly about how slow he is to back check, it seems he has rubbed off on Karlsson. Both Karlsson & Spezza need to manage the puck much better especially Karlsson since his mistakes are contributing to goals against. At least that’s what it looks like from my seat up in the 3rd level. The defence has looked very poor so far this year too, I think Uncle Denis put it best, the Sens were over powered & out matched in this one & the last few against western teams. Once the Chicago game is over with Ottawa has five winable games & they need to play themselves out of this funk & fast if they want to stay in the playoff race.

    Hopefully at some point this week BM/PM will be sending Pageau down to Bingo. Another thing we learned against western teams is that they are much bigger, tougher, faster & mores skilled than Ottawa who has too many small, soft players in their lineup. With Grant & Zibanejad making an impact in Ottawa it wouldn’t hurt to start trying out a few moore Bingo players. It’s amazing how bad Corvo is, I’m not sure why they play him?

    • matsoukas45

      I agree Ottawa is to small up front,you need to be big and fast in today nhl

    • LeafsSux

      Hoffman needs too be called up! I live 40 min from Binghamton and watch them play on a daily basis. He is by far their most consistent talent!

  • Hax

    Jason York ‏@jasonyork33

    Sens coaching staff getting exhausted skating as closed door players meeting going on 25 minutes.

  • SensChirp

    New combinations at practice this morning

    Michalek-Spezza-Ryan
    MacArthur-Turris-Zibanejad
    Greening-Grant-Condra
    Conacher-Smith-Neil

    • Alcatraz

      I can get behind these lines, although I almost prefer swapping Mac with Mich

      • Go Sens Go

        That could work. Though Mac and Turris have been very good together. I would replace Greening with Conacher as he has no value in the fourth line.
        To me the main change has to be in the defensive pairings. So far the combinations used have not really worked for the sens.

        • Alcatraz

          4th line is just labels. To me Grant and Condra is more like a 4th line. We keep fooling ourselves into believing Condra is a 3rd line winger. Hes a 4th line PK specialist really. Dime a dozen player

          • boom

            I bet Grant wishes he was back in Bingo with more talented wingers…seriously, insert a big skating winger in Condra’s place and I like the look of the bottom two lines. Decent combination of speed and grit. Or call up Hoffman and give him a shot.

          • matsoukas45

            Condra is the most overrated player on the team

  • Hax

    Lines from practice (after a 30 minute, players-only meeting):

    9-19-6
    16-7-93
    89-15-25
    14-57-22

  • PraiseAlfie11

    Was at the game. The way I saw it was the sens played well, they just have no luck.

    I’m not overly upset about losing to Ana and sj. They need to beat the Edmonton’s of the league. Hopefully some day they will be able to play some mid-tier teams to get some mojo going.

  • Zorav

    Personally, I don’t think it matters that we were playing the league’s best. There’s not a huge discrepancy between teams in terms of talent. Both, San Jose and Anaheim were coming off a back to back and additionally the Sharks hadn’t even had a 24 hour break before they were on the ice again…….Last year, everyone fought. Everyone had heart…..I just don’t feel that they have their heart in it right now.

    • Hax

      I think this is a good observation. Yorkie was talking this morning on TSN1200 about how with so many guys out SJ is playing a blue-collar style and not trying to do too much. I think the Sens are sort of stuck in a mode of “wow we have all our skills guys healthy this year so let’s get fancy”. Not every shift, but it seems to come up.

      The desperation and focus from last season’s “pesky” team is missing too often. But if they can get back to that WITHOUT having to have key players hurt I think they can be one of the better teams in the league.

      Adding to the problems this season so far is that Anderson hasn’t been as insanely awesome as he was last year (when our goalies covered up some mistakes).

      • Millennium

        Maybe the guys bought their own hype a little too much. If they assumed this year would simply be pesky + all our starpower back, then maybe they went into this season a little too loosey-goosey. They need to realize they have to work even harder this year because Anderson is returning to earth and expectations are doubly high.

        • Hax

          Yup. And if that is the case that’s really good news since I believe the character of these guys is still rock solid. Even the guys that haven’t racked up stats so far are clearly working hard. So it’s really just a matter of getting back to basics and buying in to the team plan etc.

          MacLean: work your magic!

          • Zorav

            Yea I really believe it’s a matter of just making simple plays and really just playing some simple hockey right now. Allowing yourself to get accustomed to the tendencies of your team-mates. I can live with not seeing flash&dash for a while if it allows us to play a clean game. Perhaps …just my hunch, but putting the “ego” aside?

  • Andersonfan40

    Can’t pin point out what wrong with the Senators either.
    Just have two questions I like to watch hightlights of Hemsky
    on tv for example sportscentre.
    Just wondering who everyone on here would compare
    Hemsky to?
    Also how is Robison play so far in Bingo?

    • The Apostle

      From a durability standpoint I would compare him to Pascal Leclaire

      • aegiszx

        Agreed.

        I’m soooo tired of hearing the Hemsky/Gagner talk. They are not players we need right now.

  • Aaron 2.0

    Glad to here about the players only meeting. These guys need to be accountable to each other most of all. Right now, the number of mistakes being made really makes it difficult to win. I here what you’re saying about the schedule, Chirp. It’s been absolutely miserable. But, the reason why there’s so much negativity around here, in my opinion, isn’t just because they are losing to better teams, but rather it’s how they are losing. A short-handed goal as soon as you get back into a game. 4 chances to clear a puck in a 1-goal game in the 3rd. And, the sens know they are playing the best of the best; that’s all the more reason to make sure these things don’t happen. Because chances are you’re not going to come back from 2 or more goals down against these tough teams. It’s focus and attention to detail, and right now, it’s just not there. It really won’t matter who they are playing until they clean this up.

  • SensChirp

    Interesting comments from Karlsson today…

    @HockeyScanner Erik Karlsson says it’s hard to live up to media expectations. “You guys have talked about me like I’m some (effing) god or something.”

    • Aaron 2.0

      I haven’t seen the whole conversation yet, so don’t have the exact context, but the first thing that comes to mind is the words we here so often from our coach when things aren’t going well – frustration is a useless emotion.

      • Alcatraz

        For me it feels like this is an echo comment he probably heard Alfie mutter privately sometimes, and really helps to figure out the picture painted this summer with Alfie and why he left with all things considered equal

    • sprucesens

      my guess is he’s just frustrated. Being asked to do it all on a constant basis, being on for half the game and all, every game. He does have a valid point though. Fans always looking for a savior/god player.

    • my2sens

      Seeing as he is #2 in DMen in the league behind a stalled Mr. Ego, I think he’s our new God. He is magic and even when the team is playing crap, he can elevate his game.

      Sure he can make a costly mistake here or there… but has anyone seen Ovie play?

      So yeah… somebody send him a message and let him know he’s awesome!! And if he were to post a table on Twitter… well…

    • thepez

      As much as I think that EK65 is the best and most exciting D-man in the NHL, reading those comments reek of excuses for his un-inspired play. I never heard anything negative from him when things were going well and everyone praised him. Time to mature and man up. To be honest after his screw up on Friday night, Mac should have benched him for a few shifts. I’ve seen a few too many of these unforced turnovers by EK65 this season. Time for some “accountability” and what better way to send a messge by benching your best player.

      • Sandy

        His achilles is still not fully recovered. His foot is still numb.
        His first couple of strides used to be off the charts.. .now they are just the same as everyone else.
        The numbness in his foot is really concerning to me.

        Matt Cooke ended the career of Marc Savard… could he also have ruined the career or Karlsson?

      • TookieIs100PercentRight

        Exaclty. Grow a pair Erik and learm to “D”.

      • Hax

        This won’t shock anyone, but I’m going to stick up for Karlsson here.

        He’s still VERY young and everyone, media and fans, seem to think he’s the Michael Jordan of the NHL or something. Expectations are insane and I’m sure he’s frustrated himself that he’s not back to where he was before – let alone where our rose-colored glasses remember him being.

        I don’t mind the honest comment from him at all and if you think he’s the type of player (or man) to make excuses you’re mistaken.

        I won’t disagree that his turnover was brutal and wouldn’t even mind him getting benched for it – but to suggest that he’s A) wrong, B) making excuses or C) uninspired is way off base.

      • SensChirp

        Think people may be overreacting to those comments a little bit. And it would be good to see the actually interview to get some context.
        What exactly is the message being sent when the best player is benched? Trying to win hockey games here and their best chance to do that is with Karlsson out there and out there often.

        • thepez

          The message with a benching of your star player is telling everyone on your team you will not accept a lack of effort and/or mental errors. So coach Mac sits out a 4the liner like Pageau. No big deal. However on Friday night after the Sens scored to make it 2-1 Chris Neil takes a very undisciplined penalty two seconds after the goal was scored. EK65 against the Sharks is lazy skating back and costs his team a shorty. In both cases benching a guy for a shift or two would have told the rest of the guys to focus.
          As I said in my earlier post without Karlsson at his best the Sens are in trouble. But sacrificing him for a shift or two will pay dividends down the road.

  • sprucesens

    i’m hoping stone come’s back from injury soon. My bet, after a few games in Binghamton, he is given a chance on the 3rd or 4th line in place of condra or greening. Personally, I would also call up Hoffman and sit both of those guys. Or if robinson is playing well enough, he can come up and take a spot on the 4th line. Sends a message to the bottom 6, that while you might not be counted on to score a ton, you can pitch in from time to time. And more importantly, you have to work your ass off every shift, and make the simple clean plays consistently. Also grind and wear down the opposition. Ideally, the bottom 6 should grind out in their own end, and get to the opposition end, where you put out your scorers.
    Also, like someone else mentioned about the free pass, I think its time michalek and Phillips see the box for a game or 2. Not just as a message to them, but it tells the team, poor play won’t be accepted, no matter who you are.
    Once its all said and done..
    Conacher-Spezza-Michalek
    MacArthur-Turris-Ryan
    Hoffman-Zibanejad-Stone
    Robinson-Smith-Neil
    Greening can swap out with the 3 callups in the line up also. gets our speed and skill up, and a bit of size. Grant can do spot duty also. We need 3 scoring lines, not 2 top lines, and 2 smaller effortless 4th lines.

    • Sandy

      You think Stone is going to replace an NHL player in the lineup and make a difference.

      The Sens need to skate more.. play faster.. and Stone is not the best skater..
      Greening is one of the fastest skaters on the team.
      The D is already inexperienced enough.. so putting Phillips in the box fixes that by putting Gryba in?
      They have 10 pts in 11 games.. just below .500. Almost half of their games have been against LA, SJ & Ana.. who they had trouble beating in the past with a more experienced team.. Just because they played well last season was in no way to expect them to beat the best in the West this season. How many young guys in the lineup even played against the West teams before. I think the 2nd pairing of Weircioch & Cowen never did… and that’s important.
      The team showed us when playing in Detroit how good they can be. But then, they had something to prove to Alfie (although they won’t admit it). They played with intensity, energy and speed the entire game and dominated Detroit. That team will show up again…
      The only games they lost I’m upset with was game 2 in TO.. when they had the Leafs — score was 4-2.. But they gave the game away due to penalties.. Then the game against Edmonton.. which they should have won.

      Other than those 2 and the games against Buff & NJ.. the other teams were the elite teams of the West and they were outmatched… You can’t put it any other way.

      • sprucesens

        pageau made a difference. zibanejad made a difference. Wiercioch and gryba made a minor difference.(enough to stick with the team) Greening might be the fastest skater in practice, but he is one of the slowest on ice every single game. Why that is, i don’t know. I’ve always heard about how he’s so fast, but not once has he ever stood out to me, nor have i ever seen him beat a defender on the outside with this tremendous speed everyone mentions.

        Losing to teams in the west because they are in a different conference is a cheap cop out excuse. Same with certain players not having seen the west teams yet. If our players haven’t seen them, then they haven’t seen us. The west came here just fine and beat us in our own barn, on 2nd nights of back to back. So basically we’ve beat 2 bottom feeders, lost to a bottom feeder(edmonton) and beat one middle of the pack team in phoenix.

        I’m all for cheering my team on, but sometimes a wakeup call needs to be sent. And yes, that can mean benching a player like phillips, greening or michalek, even if its only for one game. Do you think the team noticed when alfie was taken off the ice in the playoffs?? You’re damn right they noticed that(with or without the little fit he threw). Teams take notice when a veteran is sat down for a game.

        I’m not saying stone is going to be the answer, or that him, or any of the other callups will for sure outplay the current bottom 6 players. But they will likely have earned their shot in the bigs, while the current bottom 6 has done absolutely nothing to show that they belong in the NHL, outside of Zibby, who didn’t even make the team.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    I have to say, It’s not the best start to the season. I think Chirp has posted something very interesting and very important to make note of. Out of the 11 games Ottawa has played this year, they have faced 7 Western Teams. And by most standards the teams they faced are considered some of the best in the NHL right now, -Edmonton. We have faced only 4 of our Eastern conference counterparts, with 3 wins and 7 points in those games. If you are going to get wins and points, you need them against your division/conference as a starter, and we’ve done that so far.

    In the new schedule, we do have to play the West more often, but we clearly play more games against the East. Let’s face it, the Sens are much more comfortable with that just based on how often they play them. We may need to exclude Columbus and Detroit as they are new additions. As noted, there are no easy games and the Sens have a lot to fix heading into Nov. I’d like to see them end Oct with a 5-5-2 record after the victory against Chicago on Tuesday, as it’s respectable at this stage.

    As much as I feel this will be a common comment, there still isn’t a need to panic just yet. Am i just grasping at straws? Maybe, but I see better things ahead.

  • Alcatraz

    “Its hard to live up to media expectations. You guys have talked about me like I’m some fucking God or something”
    - Erik Karlsson now my favorite player in the NHL

    • my2sens

      SC beat you to this comment 42 minutes ago ;-)

      • Alcatraz

        you mean on twitter or on here, cause I can’t find it anywhere lol

        • my2sens

          On here! 4 down I believe… Set settings to new… lol

          • Alcatraz

            now it appears, and I do have it as show new comments first. had to hit refresh button

  • my2sens

    Why are we panicking?

    Spezza, 1 hat trick away from being at the top with the best.
    Anderson, 1 shutout away from being at the top with JS
    Karlsson, 1 point away from deflating Mr. Ego as top DMan

    Just need to clean up and keep it simply. Then we will all rise and become victorious.

    • sprucesens

      not to be a negative nancy as those are all valid points, but its not the points produced or shutouts that we are concerned about. Its the only stat that matters that is bothering everyone. Wins. And maybe the fact that there should have been a few more, on back to backs and home games. As much as everyone points out us having trouble with teams in the west, and how they are seen as some of the best in the league, guess what, to win a cup, we have to beat the team that wins the west, so we better learn how to beat them now…

      • hq8

        finally someone said it right. absolutely think that schedule and western team’s level of play are lame excuses. what exactly has sens management been doing the last two years if this roster cannot face upto any team in the league on a given night? i mean all this drafting and development surely cant be only to beat the floridas and buffalos of the east………

        • Tooks

          Agreed completely, fans just want the Sens to get into the playoffs and that would mean to atleast win out vs the crappier teams and its ok to lose to the top teams. As long as we get in the playoffs.

          Sure we might win a round IF we play MTL again but pretty much any other team that finishes 1-2, we will lose to, a la PIT.

    • Tooks

      Those are all individualistic views, thats not what the problem is, its playing as a team.

  • Sandy

    I don’t know what some people expected playing those California teams.
    In the past.. and obviously current.. they have had difficulty against LA, SJ & Ana. Not a lot of history of winning against those teams. Did you think that was going to change this season?
    1 pt out of a possible 10. And that’s it.
    They haven’t looked good during those games… that’s a fact.

    But we do know how good these guys can be by their play in Detroit.
    I wasn’t expected any wins against LA, SJ or Ana. I love my team.. but the reality is, those 3 teams were playing a lot better than the Sens were to start the season. The Sens were outmatched (not so much against LA) against Ana & SJ.
    The defensive issues are worrying however.

    We all looked at the D lineup to start the season and we all noted the pairing of Cowen & Weircioch could struggle.. and they have. They shouldn’t be a pair right now.. BUT you can’t put Phillips or Corvo in the top 2 pairing.
    IF the Owner hadn’t tightened the purse strings maybe Murray could have gotten a better D than Corvo… then Cowen & Weircioch would both be playing with a vet and not together..

    Tomorrow night is going to be a struggle again.. odds are against the Sens of winning this one.. Although they did beat Chicago in 2010 — so it can be done.

    • aegiszx

      Well if it makes you feel any better, my wife does think the Sens have a pretty good chance (she’s a big Hawks fan). Apparently the Hawks have been struggling this year with their PK going from 1st last season to 30th this season due to the loss of Frolik/Stalberg and subpar goalie in Khabi. And their PP is still horrible.

      Hope she’s right when she says that the Sens can jump on a Chicago team with very little confidence right now. They are still dangerous but if we bring our A game, we can get at least 1 pt.

  • Righteous Smoke

    In an argument with a friend. He seems to think that there has already been like 2 or 3 player only meetings this season with the Sens, and I believe the last time there was a players only meeting was The Staches first year as coach and it was after they lost 7-1 to Colorado, which was also early in the season. Am i right????

    • SensChirp

      This is the first one I’ve heard about this season.

      • Righteous Smoke

        Same here, but my buddy is saying that Spezza himself mentioned that they’ve had a couple player only meetings in an interview before the game against Detroit…

        • Tooks

          Well that would explain as to why Maclean was quoted “Next step is people start leaving”…That would lead me to believe that the players only meetings are not working and that the next step will be ot of the playes hands.
          Ouch!

  • MethotToMyMadness

    I am still a little shocked with the NYI – Buffalo trade last night. Vanek is a great addition to any team that gets him, he’s produced with our without help throughout his career. But I honestly thought the Islanders were in great shape offensively going forward. If anything, they should have added Goalie depth.

    Looking at each player, Moulson has been a perfect match for Tavares the last few seasons. How will Moulson perform with Hodgson? While Moulson is a great player and has shown a lot of offensive production, I think much of it was inflated by playing a long side of Tavares.

    • SensChirp

      I’d be interested to know what role, if any, John Tavares had in this deal. Suggested on Twitter last night that the deal was likely an indication that contract talks with Moulson weren’t going well and that seems to be the case.
      Even still, Tavares and Moulson were extremely close. Have to think they ran this deal by JT before pulling the trigger…

      • Senut

        I thought that too ,
        had Miller gone to the Island also
        this trade would make a whole lot more sense
        If Vanek doesn’t resign then Snow should be fired

    • Tooks

      Moulson scored 2 goals last night for BUF, without Johnny T.

      • MethotToMyMadness

        Yup, Moulson did VERY well in his first game. Looks like Hodgson and Ennis are his new dance partners.

  • Floridasensfan

    Lose a game and the sky is falling, nothing new here.
    Same every time.
    Karlssons is an amazing player, picking him apart is insanity.
    Hard to come on here and read posts after a loss

  • matsoukas45

    Sorry Sens brothers and sister,as long as the owner has them on a financial leash Murray hands are tied,he can`t go out and bring on salary to improve the team.The problem has to be fix from within,i have a feeling this is going to be a long year and we don`t even have our first round pick.

  • SensFanInMTL

    After reading the first 10 comments (from oldest to newest), I think it’s safe to say that..

    Sens Lose = Everyone turns on each other. Although the insulting comments from one to another were rather humorous, we gotta stick together no matter what and hope for the best. Go Sens go.

  • Senut

    Finances ? really ?
    from what I saw last night our goalie sucked
    the game before ? a couple d-men and
    the loss before that ? forwards
    IMO they just haven’t got their shit together yet
    and considering the turnover of players this year
    I’m not that surprised
    The question I have is will they get it together before it’s too late
    I think so but man this is painful

    hedpucker

  • Jacques

    Been reading the comments, glad to see that people are noticing that Condra doesn’t bring much to the table. Love to see him sat for once, to see what we would have going. Yost has shut his trap lately about him because his numbers are the worst possession wise on the team. We have better options in Bingo. Happy Grant is finally getting a good look! size matters if you can skate. I’ve been focusing on just watchingCondra when he’s on the ice and he’s weak on the puck and he stifles lots of offensive opportunities. 3rd line in the new NHL has to be an offensive line. Sens send out 2 plug lines every game and it won’t cut it. Teams are killing us, especially when MacLean has Smith playing 18 minutes a game WTF. Time to bring up speed, free Hoffman for our 3rd line.

    • sprucesens

      agreed. Someone with size and some scoring ability, who can also play pk would be exactly the doctor’s order. All the best teams have 3 scoring lines. All have guys with size that actually can finish a check. I’d like to see hoffman(scoring and speed) stone (size and scoring) and robinson (checking and scoring with some speed) all get shots this year.

    • LeafsSux

      Hoffman will be up you can count on that!!

    • Miguel

      completely agree on the bottom 6, we went form one of the strongest to the weakest. we need some scoring, and having Neil and Smith on our third line is killing our talent. Keep them on the fourth line, and have a skilled scoring third line

  • Sensturion

    Am I the only one who is scared Karlsson will ask for a trade down the road?
    He seems to be incredibly disappointed with the Alfie situation, as made evident by his tweets following the Detroit game. He attacks the Ottawa media for treating him like a effing god, he is clearly frustrated with the team’s play…
    I could be overreacting (I hope I am) but I have a bad feeling about the whole situation…

    • Jacques

      I don’t think so, Sens can’t have one set of rules for its Star players and another set of rules for the rest. Spezza and Karlsson have to bust their asses like the rest of the guys! To me, TURRIS is the leader right now, that kid busts his ass. He goes and gets the puck deep in his own zone and then rushes up the ice. I don’t what the F Tippett didn’t like about this kid, he’s the real deal! I thank God we got this kid, what a steal.

    • Aaron 2.0

      I still haven’t found the complete conversation for context, but, really, it’s hard to accept that sort of outburst. Essentially, he seems unhappy that everybody thinks he is really, really good, and didn’t like getting called out about the power-play shorty. If you accept a 6.5 million dollar paycheck, expect closer criticism, and don’t be a wussy about it. He better come to play tomorrow night…

  • T K

    Yes the Sens don’t always seem to all be on the same page or as sharp as they will be at mid-season. By the same token, they have not yet had the pleasure of honing their game by playing Florida, Philadelphia, NYR, Carolina, Dallas, Calgary, etc. They will also be honoured to play Buffalo a few more times.

    Conversely, other teams ahead of them in the standings have also not yet gone on protracted road trips. Their wheels are due to fall off sooner or later since every team hits a dry spell or two in every season, regardless of their level of quality.

    The law of averages will have it’s effect and the Sens will continue to improve as everyone on the team settles into their new roles. If the Sens are still wonky by games 20-25 while everyone else in the league continues to truck along, then it will be time to think of required fixes. Until then, adopt a zen attitude…

    • sprucesens

      thats great standings wise that we get to play more of the crappy teams coming up, to build confidence and points. However, if we lose all our games to the top teams (boston, LA, chicago, pittsburgh, san jose, anaheim) the playoffs will look the same as they did last year. Might be able to sneak a victory in against what most would call a mediocre team, but then look completely outmatch against an actual talented team.

      Basically, what i’m saying is, we’re at the 3 year rebuild mark, and we were ahead of schedule all the way through. But now is the time for the players to step up, just like turris has, to start being included in my above list of elite teams. This year we have to see what talent we have in the farm to form 3 great scoring lines and one bang and crash 4th line. We got to see a lot of our less renowned prospects take a huge step last year. This year, we hopefully get to see the top end guys earn a spot, and start putting us over the top

  • sprucesens

    interesting quote… Senators coach Paul MacLean is hopeful the meeting will help players find solutions, otherwise he says things will likely be taken out of their control and “the next thing that happens is people start leaving.” taken from tsn…aaaaand cue trade conversation, and players headed to the AHL or the bench…

  • Mr Hockey

    “You guys talked about me like I’m some (effing) god or something,” he said. “It’s not easy to live up to that. I had a great season (2011-12), and I’m going to have to live with that. It’s something I try not to focus on, try not to compare myself to. I just want this team to win more games . . . even if I don’t win the Norris Trophy.”

    It’s not as bad when you get the full comment from Karlsson..

  • SensChirp